It may not be very wise to judge a book by its cover, but the world is too complex and detailed for any of us to grasp in its totality. We’re clearly not omniscient beings, so we as humans have to rely on limited and even somewhat shallow means of filtering what is valuable.
For example, when we drive past any establishment, we’re subconsciously surveying the storefront and forming opinions about the whole company with just our eyeballs. If a home remodeling business has a storefront that’s falling apart, you’ll probably think twice before inquiring about their services. You might even assume that the building is vacant and the company went out of business a long time ago. Even worse, you might not remember to think of them at all.
In contrast, many good assumptions can be made about a company that puts effort into maintaining a well-kept, vibrant storefront. Our immediate impression is that the business is active, successful, trusted and they care what their customers think about them. When it’s time to finally begin shopping for new kitchen cabinets, their brand will likely be the first that comes to mind.
As the old saying goes, “It’s the first impression that lasts.”
Why Your Website is No Different
Consumer behavior is very similar in digital space. In the online world of business, people may not be driving past your website, but they’ll certainly be browsing for your goods and services via online searches. So, what kind of impression does your online storefront give to passersby?
A long list of studies have demonstrated that it takes only about 50 milliseconds (that’s 0.05 seconds!) for users to form an opinion about your website that determines whether they’ll stay or leave. When we add up the data, whether it’s a physical storefront or a digital one, it turns out that we continue to use our most basic filtering mechanisms to decide which companies to do business with – and we do so immediately!
The Growing Online Marketplace
The marketshare of business being conducted online is constantly trending upward. In fact, 80% of customer to business engagement is happening online. In the not-so-distant future, most small businesses will primarily center around their website and/or online storefront.
Consider the following statistics:
- In 2021 88% of all buyers performed research online before making purchasing decisions.
- 91% of customers have visited a physical store because of a positive online experience.
- 46% of all Google searches have local intent.
More and more, people are performing their due diligence online before considering which brands to do business with.
The Obstacles Preventing Most Do-it-yourselfers From Creating Effective Websites
Without a dazzling first impression your business will lose out on a lot of opportunities. So what does it take to put your business online in a big way?
First off, let’s consider the basic must-haves of any successful website. Every successful website has to be:
- easily found via search (Search Engine Optimized)
- visually impressive with a modernized interface
- optimized for desktop and mobile
- accessible (easy to use and navigate)
- fast loading/responding
A multitude of modern website building tools are available that allow users to create their own websites without having to know complex web languages. These applications are marketed to small business owners as an easy way to create websites without hiring a pro. Unfortunately, creating a website with all of the must-haves still requires a good deal of knowledge and experience in web development. Most business owners would rather focus on running their business instead of spending many hours of trial and error learning to make something effective.
People who endeavor to build a business website without prior experience tend to underestimate the scope of work involved. It’s not uncommon for developers to be inquired by business owners who wasted time and money on setup fees and development only to get nowhere.
Scope of Work
A major factor that many do-it-yourselfers tend to forget is that graphic design tools are all but required to make a beautiful and accessible interface that inspires buyer confidence. Without a decent understanding of the rules of the web, images and other elements will not fit onto a web page as intended. Often the result will be images that are blurry or distorted, files sizes so large that they damage load times, and pages that are disfunctional when viewed on mobile devices.
Recent data strongly suggests that a website can actually scare buyers away if it doesn’t impress:
- 38% of visitors will stop engaging with a website if the content or layout is unattractive.
- 57% of internet users say they won’t recommend a business with a poorly designed website on mobile.
- 85% of internet users believe that a company’s website should be as good or better than its desktop website when viewed on a mobile device.
Another factor that’s just as important: Google knows. Modern search engines have spent over two decades in continuous development perfecting the efficacy of online searches. Search engine algorithms are now built to read your website and confirm whether or not the must-haves are properly implemented. If not, your search rankings take a big hit and your company is much less likely to be found than your competition.
The Bottom Line
In the modern day, no business can afford to forgo a great online storefront! A large majority of people are finding your business and forming impressions about it primarily online. This trend is not slowing down and is projected to continue for the forseeable future. Simply put, looking good is good for business.
A great website is crucial for business owners looking to grow or stay relevant. Our team of experienced developers are ready to build an online storefront for your business that you’ll be proud to show off. Design Mojo offers payment plans and we work within your budget to maximize your marketing dollars. Best of all, our prices beat the competition and save you the hassle.
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